Wigan moved themselves above rivals St Helens in second place as they demolished Hull FC 12-48 in their final game of the regular season.
This result means Saints need to defeat Hull KR in order to reclaim 2nd position. Wigan are guaranteed to finish in at least third place after this hefty victory. As for Hull FC they will feature in the top eight however they may go into it in eighth if Catalans can defeat league leaders Leeds at Headingley on Sunday.
Wigan full-back Matty Bowen earned himself a brace at the KC Stadium. Joe Burgess, John
Bateman, Sam Powell, George Williams, Sean O’Loughlin and Dom Crosby all also scored for the visitors in a perfect eight try and eight goal performance.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane said: “It was definitely a more complete performance and I’m happier today than I have been all season.”
He added: “We tried everything we’ve been doing in training and we were ruthless at times and we played some really good Rugby League.”
Bowen said: “There’s room for improvement as always we dropped too many balls and gave away too many penalties but its a good result going into the super eights, a job well done.”
Hull managed to score either side of the interval however both tries were nothing more than mere consolation for Lee Radford’s side. Richard Whiting and Joe Westerman were the scorers. This poor performance for the black and whites continues their dismal form against Wigan only winning one of their last fourteen meetings.
Scorer Westerman said: “It was a real poor performance from the boys, we came into the game in good form and didn’t show any of it tonight.”
This was Hull’s first defeat in three games whilst Wigan now make it three victories on the bounce. It seems the Warriors have found form at the pivotal point of the season and they were on form from the kick-off.
The Warriors got the scoring underway from deep inside their own half. A typical Anthony Gelling offload had drawn Hull winger Tom Lineham in giving Burgess space to run. The winger managed to make the line before the chasing Hull defenders.
Wigan’s second try came down the other flank when Matty Smith’s cross field kick was palmed inside to Bateman by Josh Charnley. A wonderful bit of skill from the winger under pressure meant Bateman only had to ground the ball to extend the visitors lead.
Hull did keep themselves in touching distance when Whiting hit Jordan Abdull’s short ball at pace to score. However it was only a few minutes before Wigan were back in the ascendency. Bowen’s grubber kick through was then poked forward by Gelling the ball eventually fell for Powell who simply had to ground the ball to restore the Warriors 12 point lead.
A dominant first half from Wigan was capped off when half-back Williams went under the sticks. Westerman offloaded in an attempt to get Hull moving however the ball went to ground before Williams scooped it up and sprinted 50 metres to score. Smith did miss a shot at goal with the last kick of the half but Wigan went into the interval 18 points in front.
Wigan’s control of the game continued into the second half when full-back Bowen scored after just five minutes. A set move was hit with great precision by the Warriors as Smith found Joel Tomkins who popped up a wonderfully weighted inside ball which Bowen hit at pace and scored without a Hull hand touching him. It was becoming easier and easier for Wigan as O’Loughlin would stroll over the line from metres out a few minutes later.
The home side did manage to get over in the second half as well though. Westerman drove the ball up metres out and managed to barge over Bowen and the line. Unfortunately for Hull the Warriors replied by going straight up the other end and returning the favour. It was the full-back Bowen who scored his second of the game when he stepped inside and rounded Rankin, managing to score even after falling to the floor.
Prop-forward duo Taulima Tautai and Crosby wrapped up the game for Wigan. Tautai floated around in front of a seemingly reluctant Hull defence before throwing the ball to Crosby who virtually walked through the FC defence to score and finish the game off.
With their still being possible movement in the Super League table the fixtures for the super eights can still be affected however Wigan will have an easier run-in compared to their opponents tonight Hull FC.
Hull FC: Rankin, Lineham, Talanoa, Logan, Michaels, Abdull, Sneyd, Paea, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Whiting, Westerman.
Interchanges: Thompson, Green, Bowden, Hadley.
Wigan: Bowen, Charnley, Gelling, Bateman, Burgess, Williams, Smith, Crosby, Mcilorum, Flower, Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Powell, Clubb, Tautai, Sutton.
Referee: Ben Thaler. Touch Judges: J.Cobb & J.Childs. Attendance: